1997 Critics' Choice Awards

1997 Critics' Choice Jazz Awards

The first Jazz Journalists Association-administered Critics' Choice Awards celebrate the accomplishments of jazz artists during calendar year 1996 (except for the lifetime achievement award). Nominees were chosen by a nationwide committee, and winners were elected by approximately 100 professional jazz journalists internationally, after ballots were sent to more than 400.

Plans are currently coming together to create an edition of original art works to be presented to winners of the Critics Choice Awards. A JJA committee is also reviewing the ballot's categories, the nominating and electoral process, with a view towards conducting a second Critics' Choice Awards covering artists in calendar year 1997, for presentation in the first quarter of 1998. For information, contact the editor.

Musician of the Year 1996-'97:Ornette Coleman
Lifetime Achievement:Benny Carter
Best Instrumentalist:Sonny Rollins
Best New Artist:Nicholas Payton
Best Vocalist:Cassandra Wilson
Best Sideman:Kenny Barron
Best Composer Arranger:Maria Schneider
Best Working Band:the Mingus Big Band
Best Venue:The Village Vanguard (NYC)
Album of the Year 1996:Joe Lovano Quartet, Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note)
Big Band Album of the Year 1996:Mingus Big Band, Live In Time (Dreyfus)
Best Reissue of 1996:Miles Davis and Gil Evans, the Complete Columbia Sessions (Columbia)

Nominees for the Critics Choice Awards
More than 5 nominees occur in many categories due to ties in balloting.

musician of the year

James Carter
Ornette Coleman
Dave Douglas
Bill Frisell
Herbie Hancock
Joe Lovano
Wynton Marsalis
Sonny Rollins
Cassandra Wllson

lifetime achievement

Muhal Richard Abrams
Benny Carter
Ornette Coleman
Hank Jones
Lee Konitz
Oscar Peterson
Max Roach
Sonny Rollins
Horace Silver
Clark Terry
Cecil Taylor
McCoy Tyner
Tony Williams

best instrumentalist

James Carter
Bill Frisell
Herbie Hancock
Tom Harrell
Keith Jarrett
Joe Lovano
David Murray
Sonny Rollins

best new artist

Seamus Blake
James Carter
Kurt Elling
D.D. Jackson
Brad Mehldau
Nicholas Payton
Leon Parker
Chris Potter
David Sanchez

best vocalist

Betty Carter
Kurt Elling
Abbey Lincoln
Kevin Mahagony
Cassandra Wilson

best sideman

Joey Baron
Kenny Barron
Brian Blade
Jack DeJohnette
Craig Handy
John Hicks
Dave Holland
Christian McBride
Charnette Moffett
Cecil McBee
George Mraz
Lewis Nash
William Parker
Gary Peacock
Bill Stewart
Steve Wilson


Muhal Richard Abrams
Toshiko Akiyoshi
Carla Bley
Ornette Coleman
Maria Schneider
Henry Threadgill

best working band

Charlie Haden Quartet West
Keith Jarrett Trio
Joe Lovano Quartet
Mingus Big Band
Phil Woods Quartet
John Zorn's Masada

best venue of the year

Birdland (NYC)
The Jazz Bakery (LA, CA)
Knitting Factory (NYC)
Smalls (NYC)
Sweet Basil (NYC)
Village Vanguard (NYC)
Yoshi's (Oakland, CA)

album of the year

Don Byron, Bug Music (Knit Factory Works)
Ornette Coleman, Sound Museum (Verve/Harmolodic)
Dave Douglas, Five (hat Art)
Joe Lovano Quartet, Live At the Village Vanguard (BN)
Myra Melford, Same River Twice (Gramavision)
Danilo Perez, Panamonk (Impulse)
Sonny Rollins Plus 3 (Milestone)
John Scofield, Quiet
Cassandra Wilson, New Moon Daughter (Blue Note)

big band album of the year

The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (Blue Note)
Dutch Jazz Symphony Orchestra, Portrait of A Silk Thread/Works of Billy Strayhorn (Kokopelli)
Either/Orchestra, Across the Omniverse (Accurate)
Joe Henderson's Big Band, Shade of Jade (Verve)
Kansas City Soundtrack (Verve)
Mingus Big Band, Live In Time (Dreyfus)
Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Coming About (Enja)

best reissue of the year

Miles Davis and Gil Evans, Complete Columbia Studio Sessions (Columbia)
Bill Evans Turn out the Stars (Warner Bros)
Dexter Gordon Complete Blue Note (Blue Note)
J.J. Johnson, Complete Columbia Small Group Sessions (Mosaic)
Roscoe Mitchell, Sound (Delmark)
Sonny Rollins Silver City (Milestone)
Sun Ra, The Singles (Evidence)
Sam Rivers, Complete Blue Note Sessions (Mosaic)

Nominating Committee:

Chris Albertson
Karen Bennett, Musician Magazine
Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe
Larry Blumenfeld, JazzIs
Jeff Bradley, Denver Post
Thomas Conrad, Down Beat, Jazz Times
Owen Cordle, Down Beat/North Carolina
Francis Davis, Atlantic Monthly, Village Voice
Ed Enright, Down Beat
John Ephland, Down Beat
Ken Franckling, UPI photographer
George Kanzler, Newark Star-Ledger
Fred Kaplan, Fi Magazine
Larry Katz, Boston Herald
James Hale, Ottawa, Down Beat, Pulse!
Robert Hicks, NYC, The Villager, Down Beat, RhythmMusic
Howard Mandel, Down Beat, JazzIs, Pulse!, Jazz Journalists Assoc.
Jim McNie, Biillboard, Down Beat, JazzIz
Lee Mergener, Jazz Times
Rick Mitchell, Houston Chronicle
Art Lange, Tower Pulse!
Tom Moon, Philadelphia Inquirer
Dan Oulette, Down Beat
Ted Panken, WBGO-FM
Thierry Peremarti, Jazzman (Paris)
Stephen Phillips, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Michael Point, Austin Chronicle
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian, Fi Magazine
R. Dante Sawyer, JazzIs
Kirk Silsbee, LA
Jeff Simon, Buffalo News
Zan Stewart, Los Angeles
Neil Tesser, Playboy
George Varga, San Diego Union Tribune/Copley News Service
Calvin Wilson, Kansas City Star
Herb Wong, IAJE
Scott Yanow, All CD Guide to Jazz

C o m m e n t s

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